For some time this pipe was called a "Zukra" on this page. This now seems not to be the most accurate name for the instrument. A correspondent from Tunisia, Nizar Ben Romdhane, was kind enough to write questioning the use of the name for this bagpipe, and an interesting exchange followed which can be read
here, on his site. More recently a less distant source, David Brown, a California-based musician and expert on North African instruments, raised the same point to us. It now looks like earlier scholarly sources, including Anthony Baines, didn't have it right - perhaps because of language difficulties, or perhaps because of confused informants. In any event, it seems that if the name "Zukra" was ever applied to this bagpipe at all in its native country, it was long ago, and perhaps even then in error. To confuse the issue further, there is an oboe-like instrument in Tunisia that is called by that name, but there is no evidence of it having any connection to this bagpipe.
We would feel worse about having perpetrated this error were it not for the fact that this sort of thing is quite common around bagpipes. The longer and further we look, the more varieties of bagpipes pop up, it seems, and the nomenclature is often a confused array of half-forgotten local terms. One reason for this is that bagpipes, in almost every instance, were folk instruments and were thus rarely of interest to the writers (and artists) of their cultures, who were most often concerned with loftier (and more lucrative) subjects. There is little if any contemporary literature from most bagpipe-playing regions, and by the time modern ethnomusicologists became interested in these instruments, much information about them (not to mention, in many cases, the bagpipes themselves) had vanished, or existed only in fragments. So, there are mysteries, large and small, around bagpipes - which always keeps things interesting! ~ O.S. 10/2004